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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  February 14, 2013 9:00am-10:00am PST

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heart's club. it's thursday, february 14th, valentine's day, and this is "now." joining me today author and radio host of the nationally syndicated studio 360, curt anderson, msnbc contributor and queen bee of the joy reid, politico senior political reporter, the intrepid maggie haberman, nicknames galore, and host of msnbc's "the cycle" steve cornacke. >> these days for republicans all roads lead to benghazi. senator lindsey graham and fellow senate republicans are blocking a confirmation vote on chuck hagel as secretary of defense until the white house provides more information on something that has nothing to do with chuck hagel.
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>> i am going to fight the idea of jamming somebody through until we get answers about what the president did personally when it came to the benghazi debacle. >> just to be clear, according to senator lindsey graham, a 38-day confirmation process is the ekwifl ens of jamming somebody through. hagel's confirmation was approved by the senate armed services committee on tuesday along party lines, but yesterday republicans blocked an up or down simple majority vote planned by harry reid, so tomorrow the majority leader has scheduled a cloture vote, or if we go to the rule video, the only procedure by which the senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill or other matter and thereby overcome a filibuster. the procedure requires 60 votes, so now democrats will need support from 60 senators just to overcome the filibuster and schedule a vote on chuck hagel. >> there has never in the history of the country been a filibuster of a defense
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secretary nominee. never. chuck hagel had nothing to do with the attack in benghazi. is that something they need to have on their resume? i filibustered one of the president's nominees. is that what they want? >> senator john mccain who once said he would oppose a filibuster of hagel because it would set "a bad precedent" is changing his tune. he tells "foreign policy magazine" my position right now is that i want an answer to the question. that question totally unrelated to chuck hagel as defense secretary is what president obama was doing during the benghazi attack. hagel remains in limbo, as does defense secretary leon panetta, who isn't exactly sure when he will be able to return to his california walnut groves. >> this is, i believe, my final press conference here at the pentagon briefing room. there are moments when i thought
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i was part of the last act of an italian opera. you're not sure exactly when it would end, and when the fat lady would sing. >> for now the only certainty is much more congressional uncertainty. joy, does leon panetta need a shirt that says "i survived a chuck hagel filibuster and all i got was this lousy t-shirt?" just when he thinks it can't get worse, it's actually seemingly gotten worse. >> this is insane. i mean, last night i went through, and i was looking at the george w. bush cabinet nominations. none of which were filibustered. just for fun. just because i knew we were talking about it. his second term cabinet nominations, the majority went through by voice vote. they didn't even bother to take a poll of the senate. people like michael mukaze sailed through and alberto gonzalez, who went to the bedside of john ashcroft when he was the chief guy to demand that this sick man, this man who was on his bed barely lucid sign off
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on wiarrantless wiretapping. we had bin laden -- not filibuster. i mean, the bottom line is this is unprecedented, and the fact that republicans want to do it and not call it a filibuster, harry reid really should go back and rethink not doing filibuster reform. it was a huge error. >> that's it, right, maggie? here is case in point. he had the opportunity, again, the tables turn every so often, and so democrats obviously were looking at this from a defensive position, even though they could have been on offense on filibuster. i feel like once this threshold has been crossed, how do you ever come back? now that they are beginning to actually filibuster and/or block cabinet picks, is that going to be the new normal? >> well, it certainly might be the new normal here, right? i mean, after we hit all reported, written, not we all, but most people had reported, written this will not happen. hagel will make it. he is going to go through. this is much further for the opposition. i think than even the opposition thought it was going to go.
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now nobody is really quite certain where we are now. you know, you hear harry reid essentially making an appeal to history saying, yeah, this is unprecedented. is this what you want to be remembered for? for republicans that is a potentially potent line of argument. republicans don't really know what voters want to remember them as or see them as right now, and so that is something they're taking into consideration. >> republicans don't really know who republicans are at this point so to si erin degree. curt, we went back into the archives. fewer than 2% of cabinet nominations have been rejected since 1789. john tower rejected for a defense secretary in 1989. you have to go back to 1844 to james porter, who was rejected for secretary -- >> he was robbed, though. >> where was he during benghazi? >> this is the united states senate, which part of its brand is this civility, and who are they doing this to? a guy who was a republican senator four years ago. i've decided it's a bit of joe
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lieberman derangement syndrome. a heiretick from your own party, once he is playing for the other team, it drives you crazy, and it's driving the republicans crazy the same way joe lieberman drove the democrats craze where i. >> the psychodrama of a party that's so very angry at one of its own. i'm not a psychiatrist, but i play one on television, and it would seem like -- it would seem like this sort of, you know -- he is a heiretic, and, therefore, he must be punished. this is not the first sort of parliamentary high jinx order of the day for this congress. we have congress needed to go over the fiscal cliff so the republicans could technically vote for a tax cut for those making under $400,000. the house gop delayed the debt limit, so it would be retroactively raised rather than raising it outright. this is now -- this kind of very small ball bending the rules however you can to i guess convey an impression it's a smoke and mirrors game more than
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anything else. >> i bet a lot of republican senators, if you gave them truth serum and talked to them frankly, they would say they're worried about the precedent that's being set here. the story of the senate in the obama era is it's sort of the behavioral normz for an op sfwligs party have been changed. most dramatically with the use of the filibuster. the use of the filibuster, about 20 years ago when clinton came to office it kind of spiked. it's really spiked since 2009. this is taking a whole new direction. this is actually the third cabinet nominee that's been subjected to some kind of a filibuster, but the other two, one under reagan and one under bush, were totally symbolic. it was jesse helm that the cloture vote was 85-4. dirk kempthorn and bill nelson running -- >> i love when people name dirk kempthorn. >> this is -- i think the real dangerous precedent that's being set here, though, is let's say that this is partly lindsey graham posturing for 2014 in south carolina so he will eventually drop his objection and john mccain will go along. >> the mccain piece is interesting to me, though. a lot of people are saying watch where mccain goes.
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he has gone back and forth on this. an elder statesman of the senate who has respect for preer and the upper chamber. >> but he has such a strong personal relationship with lindsay graham, and lindsay graham is so personally invested in his 2014 re-election and being seen as the guy who is fighting the obama administration on this, so i kind of feel like -- it's just a guess, but my thought is that graham will eventually drop it. that will allow mccain to drop it. that will allow them to follow suit. then you have a new precedent. let's say you get to the floor with this vote, and it's 55-45 or 57-43. a party line vote is not entirely new, but that's close to a new phenomenon too for defense secretary for a cabinet nominee, and if that becomes the new rule for cabinet nominees going forward, what happens when the next president comes along and his or her party does not control the senate. if that's the new norm that's established, you have a big problem there. >> oh. >> no different from the senate. remember, john mccain was the guy who negotiated that deal to stop the nuclear option before? remember, he was the one that stood in the way of the very idea of filibustering cabinet nominees, and now he has gone off the reservation.
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i think this is as much a bad precedent, it makes the senate like the house. >> that is a terrifying concept for anybody that wants to see anything happen in washington. i want to talk about the other nominees that are being held up. some perhaps for more legitimate reasons. john brennan is -- the committee vote on john brennan as cia director is going to be held in the last week of february. dianne feinstein says they are awaiting more drone memos from the white house. ran paul is leading the charge on this. he says i'm going to object in any way we can until we find out whether or not the head of the cia claims the authority to kill americans without a trial with a drone in america. >> which is an amazing thing for a conservative republican senator to be saying. to making an unimaginably soft on military power left wing argument against john brennan and drones. you wonder what his fellow members of the republican caucus are saying about or to rand
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paul. dude, you know, we like drones. we like killing people. >> i don't think rand paul does too much working with the caucus sounds like. i think that's the issue. >> you know, maggie, a lot of people think it's premature for us to be talking about 2016. rand paul is going to be a serious issue for the republican party not just because he is giving a post-buttle -- post-buttle to the rebuttal -- so many buttales -- but because he is very consistent and has a fired up -- rand paul has a very fired up constituency, and i think in a lot of ways there is no identity crisis in the rand paul wing of the republican party. >> except i think there is a little bit to the ebbs tent that, remember, he just took this big -- i completings agree with you about the appeal to the base. i do think that -- i think he is struggling a little bit right now in the sense that he has made a huge overture to neo conservatives. remember, he took this trip to israel. he was meeting with folks like dan senor who has been on this show and other shows. he has been making an appeal
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that he is not his dad to some extent. this is interesting to see how he navigates this. it is not necessarily where other members of the caucus are, but he has these competing brands he is trying to appeal to. >> i think it's also weird for members of the progressive left to hear a question like that and say, oh, well, yeah, we don't want that question answered? can you kill an american citizen in america with a drone, joy? i mean, that's -- >> no one is killing american citizens in america with drones, and most all of these members of the senate agree with the drone policy overseas. i find it hard to believe that they're all -- knee broken out into a civil libertarianism. >> don't you think it draws attention to the fact that there is a lack of transparency over exactly what this process is to decide who gets killed, whether or not there should be a special court? i think it's been hard for democrats, supporters of the president to sort of wrap their minds around the fact that this is in many ways an extension of the bush counterterrorism -- >> and uncomfortable with mr. tea party being the one most out front raising the issue. >> also important to note, steve, jack lew is up for
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treasury secretary, and he is having to answer questions about caymen islands off shore investments and really outrageous pay packages. sort of _#uncomfortable for the administration. >> none of these are going through easily, huh? >> no. >> it's amazing. on that point you were just making about rand paul, i think one thing that might tie into that is the sequester because it's not just the policy on drones, but just sort of the attitudes towards military, towards the pentagon, and towards military spending. there is sort of common cause between traditionally it's been the left that let's cut the pentagon, we spend too much overseas. there is a big constituency on the right that believes we're spending too much. you have the old sort of -- you have like the mccain types who, you know, the defense contractors say we can't have this, let's not have this, but you have the rand paul types and tea party types who say, no, go ahead. let's take the sequester or let's take the equivalent out of the pentagon. we don't need it. we're spending too much there and everywhere else. there's the weird alliance. >> that's always been. the libertarian right and the left have always been sort of aligned. they are both against the neo cons and the iraq war.
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>> they had a lot of power in the republican party right now. there is a real skism inside the party. on that note, _#uncomfortable for everybody. s we will go to break, and when we come back, nearly three-quarters of the american public supports it, but the minimum wage has not seen an increase in four years. there is a number on the table, but republicans have suggested putting the issue you should the table. we will talk wage wars with ezra cline when he joins us next on "now." to grow, we have to boost our social media visibility. more "likes." more tweets. so, beginning today, my son brock and his whole team will be our new senior social media strategists. any questions? since we make radiator valves wouldn't it be better if we just let fedex help us to expand to new markets? hmm gotta admit that's better than a few "likes."
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>> what is the price thaw want from these working men and women? what cost? how much more do we have to give to the private sector and to business? how many billion dollars more are you asking, are you requiring? when does the greed stop, we ask the other side. >> it has been nearly six years since america had a conversation about the minimum wage, but on tuesday night president obama put the issue back on the table. >> tonight let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour. >> nearly one-third of working families in america now live near poverty, and, yet, opposition to president obama's plan to raise the minimum wage began to solidify yesterday with the grand ole party and business groups leading the charge.
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>> i don't think the minimum wage law works. we all support -- i certainly do -- having more taxpayers, meaning more people that are employed, and i want people to make a lot more than $9. $9 is not enough. the problem is if you can't do that by mandating it in the minimum wage laws. they've never worked in terms of helping the middle class obtain more pros airport. >> a lot of people who are being paid the minimum wage are being paid that because they come to the work force with no skills, and this makes it harder for them to acquire the skills they need in order to climb that ladder successfully. >> despite gop outcry studies have shown that raising the minimum wage stimulates the economy. in a national poll from last year 73% of voters supported increasing the minimum wage to $10 per hour and index it to inflation. just for reference, in 1968 the minimum wage was equivalent to $10.47 in today's dollars and to the unemployment rate was 3.6%.
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joining us now from washington is msnbc policy analyst and the washington post chief wonk, america's wise boy, ezra klein. it is always great to have you on shoet. >> how are you? >> a lot of debate over the minimum wage. before we fwet into whether it is good or bad, i think it's important to talk about where wages for the middle class and working poor are right now. in 2010 93% of income gains went to the top 1%. if you look at corporate profits, those have increased as u.s. wages have declined, so in terms of whether or not this is a good time to be having a conversation like this, it would seem to be just about time. do you agree, ezra? >> i think it's always a good time to be having a conversation about how we can better share prosperity. i think the economics of the minimum wage are really complicated. on the one hand you have a lot of studies looking at what happens to employment, and there are a bunch of studies that show there's no effect, and then
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there are a bunch of studies that find there's a very small negative effect. now you can sort of pick which ones you believe. i think both have good points behind them, but maybe the small negative effect is worth it at times. here's the best argument for the minimum wage. here's why you want to do something like this if indeed you do, which is that as you mentioned, corporate profits have gone way, way, way up, and the last 40, 50 years worker power as manifested in large part through labor unions and other mechanisms has gone down. that is what you were seeing. what you are seeing is a corporations are very profitable, but they are not feeling the need to share as much of those profits with their workers. now, the minimum wage is one way that we give workers with very little bargaining power because those folks make minimum wage and have the leastball bargaining power in the entire economy. there's one -- we essentially make the government their leverage. they say they need to get at least this much of the profit, and if we don't see a huge disemployment affect from that, then it's probably a pretty good idea. yes, to marco rubio's point, to
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speaker yon boehner's point, it's not a solution to the problems of our economy, but it is one thing we can do that helps very, very low skill workers, people at the bottom of the income ladder, get a little bit more from what are at this moment very profitable, very profitable period in corporate profits. >> it's not just about a little bit more because that's a good idea. if you look at -- i mean, one in three american families is living near poverty. i mean, the census number -- the number of american families that are basically living on the brink of the powerhouse, as we cut programs to help the poor and the needy, is rather staggering when you look at, again, corporate profits. demos did a great study and looked at the impact of raising the minimum wage on workers, and effectively, if wal-mart, for example, raised the minimum wage of their workers more than 700,000 americans would be lifted out of poverty. i mean, i hate -- i don't hate -- this is something where someone needs to be ringing the alarm bell. i guess the other thing is, and i want to bring our panel in here, steve, when you have this conversation, there is a lot of
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naysaying from especially the right. there will be those that have counter arguments, but it properties a sdugs as far as what the gop has on offer in terms of lifting people out of poverty. >> you know, yeah, the reflective opposition from boehner and the philosophical opposition you're hearing from marco rubio, not surprising at all that this is where it is starting. obama has put out the call for an increase, and this is where the republicans are starting. i'm just thinking back to what happened when bill clinton was president and you had the gingrich congress. the opposition and the obstructionism from the republican congress, 1995, 1996, awfully similar to what we've had with obama and the republicans. what happened was clinton put out the call in early 1996 for a hike in the minimum wage. republicans said, no, it was going to kill business and jobs. then what happened is the year progressed and they realized they were on the brink of losing the election, and bob dole was going to be at the top of the ticket, and they were worried about the senate. they came around. they did increase the minimum wage. the gingrich congress increased the minimum wage in 1996. i think there's an opportunity
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here where this could play out over months where if republicans -- democrats are already starting to frame this in terms of 2014. if republicans can get put in a similar position, you might have enough joxzs from republicans and potentially vulnerable house districts that say, hey, put this on the floor. we want to vote. that might be the end game. six months from now or something. >> the minimum wage question is -- it's something that everybody understands, right? i mean, most people at one point had a job where they got paid the minimum wage. they remember what that was like. in that way it plays out very well in the national polling. 73% of the country supports it. i think it's a hard position to be on defense from. in terms of -- especially, joy, as a republican party is facing these calls that they only care about the top 1% of the country, that they're the party of the rich and don't care about the poor and working class. two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women, and minimum wage workers are disproportionately african-american and hispanic. not coalitions that the republicans have done a great job of winning over recently. >> you are right. whenever this is put to a vote
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in state referenda, it passes. people do understand it, and it's young people as well. the republican party is staring into the mah of demographic armageddon, and they are doing things over and over and over again to turn off young voters and minority voters and women. this is just one more instance where it's hard for them to explain how this is not just another sock to corporations. there's no way to explain the opposition. they say, well, people won't hire if they have to pay the minimum wage. that is the answer. they also believe in market forces. if you need more employees, you're going to hire them. >> just on that sort of the economic piece of this, right, the argument is, oh, they're not going to hire as many workers. you know, the white house is going into costco. i will read a quote from costco vp. he says at costco we know good wages are good businesses. we keep our overhead low while still paying a starting wablg of $11 an hour. our employees are a big reason why our sails sales per square foot is almost double that of our nearest competitor. instead of minimizing wages, we
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know it's profitable to minimize employee turnover and maximize productivity and commitment, product value, customer service, and company reputation." >> i think costco's labor strategy and their general strategy is phenomenal. they're a wonderful company. to your point about wal-mart, wal-mart is an enormously profitable, huge company. they're not going to have any problem with the minimum wage increase. the people you get into trouble with are very small businesses working on very, very lower margins. at that point you do see them and you see some larger businesses moving towards more machines, more automatic things like that. we shouldn't suggest these policies are costless. that said, one thing that is very important here is the republican party has driven the obama administration into this particular policy, right? the obama administration's favorite policy was to making more pay tax credit, which is a big tax credit, that does not have to come out of the pockets of small businesses, and it makes work pay. then they move to the payroll tax cut because republicans wouldn't extend the making work pay. then republicans forced the payroll tax cut off of the
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table. now republicans get the policy they like the least of all three. they get the minimum wage. as you say, it's a very, very popular policy. it's very, very hard to say no to. if you are not going to do the kind of tax measures you need to make that work pay, then yes, the minimum wage is something you really need to do because you do need to capture more of this money for the workers and particularly the workers at the bottom of the income distribution. s i don't want to say there are no problems with the minimum wage, but it is better than nothing, and at the moment republicans have basically said it is this or it is nothing. >> ezra klein, unwibding a sort of -- helping us inwind a very -- starting to unwind a thorny situation. thank you, as always, my friend. >> thank you. >> coming up, president obama put climate change and energy reform front and center during the state of the union speech, but marco, i'm not a scientist rubio mostly dismissed this in his response. we'll discuss just ahead. hello!
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ask your dermatologist about enbrel. >> on some ishdz elts all about the wording. >> others deny global warm and others deny climate change. >> we'll talk climate change deniers and what lies ahead with nrdc president francis and actor and activist chris nothe who join the panel next. your longwear makeup might stay on, ♪ but will it stay fabulous 'til 5 o'clock? it will if it's new outlast stay fabulous foundation from covergirl. what makes it so flawless hour after hour? primer, concealer and foundation, all in one.
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new outlast stay fabulous foundation all right that's a fifth-floor probleok.. not in my house! ha ha ha! ha ha ha! no no no! not today! ha ha ha! ha ha ha! jimmy how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? happier than dikembe mutumbo blocking a shot. get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. zoirchlgts president obama raised the hopes of environmental activists when he devoted eight sentences to climate change in his second
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inaugural address. he raiseded the bar even higher with six full paragraphs in his state of the union address. >> if congress won't act soon to protect future generations, i will. i will direct -- i will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take now and in the future to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy. >> president obama acknowledges that climate change is man made, a sentiment not shared by many in the opposing party. hotter temperatures and unpredictable weather patterns over the past five years have yet to push conservatives to address global kwarming on an economic or environmental level. in 2008 it was drill baby drill. in 2012 during the biggest speech of his life the gop candidate for president mocked the issue. >> president obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the
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oceans. and to heal the planet. >> meanwhile, the new face of the gop had this to say. >> our government can't control the weather. >> for his part president obama has proposed a new energy security trust, a $2 billion ten-year project to fund clean energy research, paid for by oil and gas companies that drill on federal land. the president also set a new goal of cutting u.s. energy consumption in half over the next 20 years. these come on top of efforts in his first term, naemly requiring all vehicles to get 54.5 miles to the gallon by 2025, putting carbon dioxide limits on new power plants and setting aside $90 billion for green energy products as part of the 2009 economic stimulus, but in terms
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of broad energy reform, what lies ahead? as they say, it ain't easy being green. joining the panel now is actor and supporter of the rainforest network chris nothe, and president of the natural -- i almost said national, which would have been such a fail. the natural resources defense counsel francis bynake. >> let's talk broadly about sort of where people who care about the planet are these days. there was a lot of talk. al gore, "an inconvenient truth" there seemed to be some momentum for the cause of environmental reform. in the last four years we haven't seen a lot of action on the issue. where do you stand now in terms of optimism? >> boy, that's a word i'm a little hesitant to use as i would be hesitant to use pessimism because both can keep you away from the core element of taking action. if you are too optimistic, you know.
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can i take this thing out of my ear? >> yes. >> i like the rhetoric that the president made, but it's far too little, it's far too late. there are many people who think the finger presents of global warm and here, and we need to make radical, radical decisions now. you know, like 5% cut in carbon a year perhaps. >> right. >> you know, people talk, nature acts, and it's not acting very nice, and i don't think people get it until they get a huge storm and then they think about it a little and then we clean it up, and it's forgotten again. >> that's a great point, which is that the gao, which is the government accountability office just released a report saying that the federal government is facing significant financial risks due to climate change. we look at what happened with sandy. we look at what happened, you know, the wildfires, the droughts of 2012, which were on record as historical. in terms of tackling this problem that's often couched as a greeny thing, which at the end of the day it's a huge economic
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burden on the united states. >> $60 billion has been sent to this region because of the horrific impacts of that storm. chris is right. climate change is happening now. we have to take action now. first and foremost, we have to have the resolve to do it, and i think that the president really showed that he had the resolve, and he has a lot of authority as president of the united states, you should existing law, to reduce the pollution that causes climate change. he can reduce power plant pollution by as much as 25% between now and 2020 if he takes action now. we have to get going now. he has to use that authority. he can't wait for the united states congress. >> i wish he had used more. there was a lot more he could have done with regulation. i don't know why he is considering arctic drilling. >> i couldn't agree more. we have to go down a clean
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energy pathway. we have to do it by cutting pollution and by advancing solutions, and that's renewables. we've had twice as much wind has been deployed in the last few years as any other source. price of solar is coming down. we have to use energy as efficiently as possible. that was one of the commitments he made in the speech was to reduce -- or to increase the efficiency of the way we use energy in a dramatic way. we know the solutions are there, but i think public involvement is absolutely key. people can't do it without -- >> people have to get involved. >> he has been accused of being in campaign mode, maggie, and he has been taking these issues, you know, to the people -- the issues that are -- have heretofore been some version of political kryptonite which is to say gun safety or maybe even the minimum wage. he is in his second term, and we've been talking a lot about how it's a new swagger obama. he seemed more confident and less concerned with lee re-election. as awe denizn of all things political, do you see him
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expending some amount of personal energy and political capital and pushing this issue in particular? >> i think it remains to be seen. if you recall, cap and trade legislation is a huge failure. this was a major problem. i think he does feel scarred by it. you heard marco rubio. on the one hand, you have chris christie on one side talking about the realities of the aftermath of sandy, and then you have marco rubio in his state of the union response saying what he said, so i think that realistically there is not going to be much congressional action. i think what he said in his state of the union the other night is where he would like to go. the big test is going to be the keystone pipeline. i don't know the answer to how this is going to play out. i mean, i think -- i don't know that this is going to be his major priority over, say, immigration. >> i'm not saying major priority, but he does -- there are e.p.a. regulations committee put in place. the keystone, that's a state department question, but fundamentally it's something that he has some control over. >> he needs to decide the keystone is not in the national
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interest. it comes through the state department, but he has a path to take. he can go down the clean energy pathway or dirty energy pathway. keystone is smack in the middle of dirty energy. he has to turn that down. >> in terms of the magazine editorial that suggested basically that he triaction newsing late. that he say, okay, have your keystone pipeline. it has no direct -- stopping it won't stop those tar sands from being produced, will not directly affect co2, and then give yourself corps for enforcing the clean air regulations on coal fired power plants. that sounded -- >> fairly reasonable. >> well, perhaps sensible. as much as you can say i believe in climate change, i'm for mitigating its affects as much as we can, but you still have to be a shrewd strategist. >> he is a politician, and we shouldn't ever think he is not. he has to play the game. the fact of the matter is these timetables are a little ridiculous in terms of what is happening. nature is not waiting. they don't care about treaties, physics, and they don't care
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about treaties or laws. it's got to happen faster, and we don't realize it. we're sitting 25 years. are you kidding? that's way too late. we need tomorrow. >> yesterday. >> yesterday. and we just don't seem to be able to get it until we get hit with an incredible storm, and then, yeah, this is kind of bad. then, you know, it gets better. you know, if it snows, people go, there's no global warming. we have two feet of snow in new england. you know? >> that's why i think actually the economic piece is so -- needs to be put sort of at center stage because oftentimes -- and you know this, francis, the argument in terms of tackling climate change or energy reform is we have a very fragile economy. weigh can't do anything that will endanger jobs. you look at fracking, and the argument is an economic argument. the flip side of that organize umt is, hey, look what happens when we sort of have a few -- a petroleum based economy that's very reliant, and our carbon levels are through the roof. >> the president actually put this whole part of his speech in the middle of his economic opportunity section.
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he was looking at it compared -- along with infrastructure investments, along with strengthening manufacturing. he said we have a choice to go down a clean energy pathway, make investments that will be good for our economy, and reduce the costs we have from the impact of climate change. i thought that that was very heartening. we need to believe and we have shown through the deployment of wind and solar that jobs are created this way. we have to document where the jobs are created. it has to be an economic benefit to the country, and as we control pollution and reduce it and eliminate carbon emissions, we have to do it in the most efficient way possible by creating new opportunities in clean energy, and i think he put that squarely in the speech. he wasn't saying this was a problem, this is going to be terrible for america. he said this is an opportunity. let's grab it. >> the vision for moving the country forward. chris, i don't want to say that there's no interest in this because you look at the polling, the league of conservation voters took a poll.
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65% of the country supports the president taking significant steps to address climate change. that is to some degree on partisan lines. 89% of democrats. 62% of independents. 38% of republicans. not nothing. you know, if we talk about public engagement, we must -- you must talk about what you were doing this weekend. you and whoopi goldberg are co-hosting the rain force forest eco rock benefit here in manhattan. >> that's a group that's taken down some pretty big -- not taken down, but knocked some sense into some pretty big goliath, business goliaths, and that's what it takes. it's profit but profit with principles. you know, you don't have to rake the land and the air to make a profit. that's the bottom line. i just think the problem that i see is the immediate si of everything. when i hear them talking 25 years, you are right, i think the people have to get out and let the government know, and the people in terms of joining groups like rainforest action
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network, which devote their whole lives and rdc devote their whole lives to getting out there and making the change for awful us. we can't leave the next generation and our children with this planet in disarray the way it is. we've had our day in the sun. we've had our seasons and everything, and now -- >> i still have a few more days in the sun. >> me too, but i've got a 5-year-old now, and -- >> we all would. >> we all would. >> a little more time on planet earth before we totally destroy it. no, we won't because of the great actions of both -- all of you and matt and maggie and curt, our great standard bearers for environmental awareness. big recyclers. francis and chris, thank you both. you will find more information about the eco rock benefit at sdwlimplgts. coming up, welcome back to wayne's world. wane la pierre and his latest off the rails scream is anything but party time or excellent. we will discuss the n a's vice president's new rant just ahead. i have low testosterone. there, i said it.
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♪ disasters and arctic mobs and other signs of the society in chaos. no. these are not scenes from the latest hollywood blockbuster. thurimages from the mind of wayne la pierre. we'll explain next. twins. i didn't see them coming. i have obligations. cute obligations, but obligations. i need to rethink the core of my portfolio. what i really need is sleep. introducing the ishares core, building blocks for the heart of your portfolio. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing.
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risk includes possible loss of principal. bikes and balloons, and noodles on spoons. a kite, a breeze, a dunk of grilled cheese. catches and throws, and spaghettio's. a wand, some wings, soup with good things. sidewalks and doodles and wholesome noodles. puddles and pails and yes, puppy dog tails. for a lunch like this, there's a hug and a kiss. because that's what happy kids are made of. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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>> his press conference in the weak of the newtown trained was one of the most tone deaf events in repeat memory. now ceo wayne law pierre is taking it to a new lunar level of insanity with a -- writing "hurricanes, tornadoes, riots, terrorists, gangs, lone
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criminals, these are the perils we are sure to face. not just maybe. it's not paranoia to buy a gun. it's survival. he continues, "after sushg haept we saw the hellish world that gun prohibitionists see as their utopia. looters ran wild in south brooklyn. there was no food, water, or leb trift, and if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark or you might not get home at all. the finale. "we will not surrender. we will not appease. we will buy more guns than ever. as a resident of south brooklyn, was that your utopia? >> i have guns, so i was able to -- no. why i should be alarmed and amazed at the factual profound factual inaccuracies here. there were not looters in south brooklyn. everybody was out helping everybody else. it was morning in america. yes, there was no electricity for a while.
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it was the opposite of that description. if he wants to have some post-on pock liptic nightmare. that line of and we will buy more guns to me is the most bonning bonkers much the whole thing. it despeaks of fetishness of i need more guns. >> it's like a child beating its hands. >> the nra is a gun industry organization. that's just buy more guns. >> there's also a lot of racism in that statement. he goz to impugn latin america as these dark knights with dark people in brooklyn. >> i don't know how he missed the zombies because there were also zombies. i don't understand how they even survived in south brooklyn. i think he was talking about south brooklyn of the 1980s. he has this vision of brown and black people loot and burning and we have to get guns to shoot them. that's -- brooklyn is lattes and -- >> as a resident of brooklyn who enjoys lattes, i can attest to that. this is part of the -- this is
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part of that sort of doubling down on gun culture that you guys don't -- a, the elites using brooklyn as a foil, but also, you know, the world is ending, and you have to arm yourself, steve. >> but i think joy, it really is the same message that the nra is touting in the high crime rate 1908s with all the suburbanites were worried he was going spread out there and all that. the other target is gangs of kriltz. that's always one of the things that he trades off. the other one is the government. you can think back to oklahoma city in 1995. he got in trouble back then. he talked about federal agents jack booted thugs and storm troopers and said they were going to come after law-abiding set zenz. this is what you had to worry about. as long as the gangs are going to get you or the government is going to get you, and you better arm yourself. this is a consistent message for like a quarter of a century. >> interestingly, this screen he made the point of saying we are not advocating gun ownership. it's the gangs. >> the actions of the government, they won't come to save you. get more guns. >> if it is a doubling down, maggie, we were talking about
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this before this segment, i think that the conversation is different this time around. >> yeah. i mean, i think we've discussed on this show before that basically the nra is we're not the target audience of who they're talking to here in central brooklyn or south brooklyn, or various residences in brooklyn, including myself. i think we are about to see and one away wha we were discussing at the break is this race in illinois to replace jesse jackson jr. in the special election that's coming up. the bloomberg superpact has been aggressively spending money, more than a million dollars. all very targeted anti-nra message against her and her a rating from the nra, and so this is going to be i think seen whether it is or isn't going to be described as the test of whatever the conversation has changed, and so we will see whether his conversation changes with it. >> we shall see, indeed. we have to leave it there. thank you to curt, joy, maggie, and steve. that is all for now. see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific, when i'm joined by chris hayes, bloomberg business week's josh green and they always buzzy ben
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smith. gp top with alex. andrea mitchell reports is coming up next. [ bells jingle ] [ cash register dings ] [ male announcer ] wow. a brave choice. okay, focus. think courage. think shaun white.
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